Either David Axelrod is too honest or very calculating. Whatever the case may be, neither is particularly good news for Joe Biden.
Axelrod was one of the closest advisers to the president during the Obama administration. Like all former political functionaries, Axelrod has found a place in the media. Unsurprisingly, it’s at CNN, where he’s a senior political commentator and hosts a podcast called “The Axe Files.”
“The Axe” isn’t exactly a fan of “The Donald,” mind you. He (now here’s a shocker) believes he’s a conscious racist flanked by a base of voters little better than zombies. However, just because he’s not toot-tooting the Trump train doesn’t mean he can’t see the trainwreck that is the former vice president’s campaign.
In a Thursday tweet, he took aim at Biden’s gaffes and questioned whether there was something deeper at play:
It’s one thing to have a well-earned rep for goofy, harmless gaffes. It’s another if you serially distort your own record. @JoeBiden is in danger of creating a more damaging meme.https://t.co/ThCVCz4Fjb
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) September 6, 2019
“It’s one thing to have a well-earned rep for goofy, harmless gaffes,” Axelrod tweeted.
“It’s another if you serially distort your own record. @JoeBiden is in danger of creating a more damaging meme.”
The tweet links to a Slate piece regarding what was then Biden’s latest solecism: “When Did Joe Biden Start Believing He Had Opposed the Iraq War?”
The piece revolves around a rationale Biden gave NPR for why he supported authorizing force as a senator back in 2002. According to Biden, the reason he authorized it is because he thought it would never be used.
“[Bush] looked me in the eye in the Oval Office. He said he needed the vote to be able to get inspectors into Iraq to determine whether or not Saddam Hussein was engaged in dealing with a nuclear program,” Biden said. “He got them in and before you know it, we had ‘shock and awe.’”
“Immediately, that moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment,” he added.
Except, of course, he didn’t: “Nine months ago, I voted with my colleagues to give the president of the United States of America the authority to use force, and I would vote that way again today,” Biden told the liberal Brookings Institution during a July 31, 2003, speech.
“It was a right vote then, and it’ll be a correct vote today.”
There are other inconsistencies in this story, which Ben Mathis-Lilley lays out fairly well in his Slate piece. He notes that Biden seems to have changed his opinion when George W. Bush’s poll numbers “went underwater for good.”
This distortion doesn’t come in a vacuum, of course, as Biden’s gaffes seldom do. There was also the war story gaffe, the one where The Washington Post discovered that a very moving story he told about an Afghan War hero was also very false.
“Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient, as well as his own role in the ceremony” incorrect, The Post reported.
Biden’s “apology” was one of the “sorry not sorry” variety: “The central point is it was absolutely accurate what I said … The story was that he refused the medal because the fella he tried to save, and risked his life saving, died. That’s the beginning, middle and end.”
And as we all know, Uncle Joe chooses truth over facts.
As Mike Brest notes over at the Washington Examiner, Axelrod wasn’t just another employee over at the Obama White House. He was key in helping Obama choose Biden as his running mate. He worked closely with him for eight years. If he’s noting the fact that Biden isn’t exactly living his best life at the moment, that’s pretty significant news.
Biden’s still ahead in the polls, but the gaffes are getting more serious. It’s not just him saying how he loves the “town” of Vermont when he’s in New Hampshire anymore. This is Neil Kinnock territory. If you’ve forgotten who that is, don’t worry. I get the feeling Joe Biden has, too. And that’s why even “The Axe” is getting worried.
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